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Black and Pink San Diego's Pen Pal Correspondence and Film Study of "Cruel and Unusual"
Date Sunday January 12
Time 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location Details
Black and Pink San Diego's Pen Pal Correspondence and Film Study of "Cruel and Unusual: Transgender Women in Prison "
Event Type Screening
Organizer/AuthorCathy Mendonca
Emailcmendonca [at]
AddressMalcolm X Library 5148 Market St, San Diego,
Black and Pink San Diego's Pen Pal Correspondence and Film Study of "Cruel and Unusual: Transgender Women in Prison "

Join Black and Pink San Diego and People's Power Assembly as we examine The U.S. prison industrial complex's brutal and oppressive system of injustice. As community members & allies, we must respond to the systemic violence against LGBTQ people and respond through advocacy, education, direct service, and organizing.

About the Film "Cruel and Unusual: Transgender Women in Prison"

"Imagine being a woman in a men's prison. For many individuals, this is a grim reality because the U.S. prison system decides where to place inmates based on their genitalia, not their gender identity. This award-winning documentary makes an unflinching examination of transgender women in men's prisons. Ashley, Linda, Anna, Yolanda and Ophelia describe their experiences undergoing inhumane and humiliating treatment including rape, violence, solitary confinement and denial of medial care. One interviewee explains. "A lot of times I wake up, and I look around at my surroundings, and I see all these men. I think, 'What am I doing here?'" The women in Cruel and Unusual don't deny that they must serve their sentences, but their stories raise very important questions about their treatment."



Black and Pink San Diego is making a call to action for pen pals for 14 prisoners currently incarcerated in Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD) also known as the "Gender Identity Disorder" Facility.

Black & Pink “free world” pen-pals literally save lives by writing letters to LGBTQIA prisoners twice a month. The pen pals provide Recently, Black & Pink changed over to a slick prisoner pen-pal database.


Receiving mail can reduce the harm and violence experienced by LGBTQIA prisoners from others of from themselves. Mail call often happens in public space. when someone hears their name called during mail called during mail call it is a reminder that people on the outside care about that person. It also serves as a message to guards and other prisoners that this person has support and is not forgotten.

Many LGBTQIA prisoners do not have support systems, having been cut off by family and friends. Many are forced to live in isolated housing, such as solitary confinement, with no human contact for 23 hours per day. Many experience harassment and abuse in a variety of forms. Letters from the free world can boost spirits and provide crucial connections to the larger queer/trans community.
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Added to the calendar on Tuesday Dec 24th, 2013 1:15 AM
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